When most of us think about a workplace injury we usually don’t think of on-the-job violence. In reality, however, workplace violence is a more common cause of injuries and even deaths than many realize. A victim of workplace violence in Massachusetts could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, or to compensation through a third party lawsuit, depending on the facts and circumstances.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19 Massachusetts workers were killed in 2011 as a result of workplace violence. That was more than the number killed in work-related transportation accidents. Across the country, more than 2 million workers are injured as a result of violence in the workplace each year.
What Constitutes Violence in the Workplace?
The vast majority of the incidents did not involve co-workers or supervisors becoming violent with an employee. Of the 780 workers who were killed nationwide in 2011, 458 were homicides, 242 were suicides and 37 were the result of an animal attack or other interaction with an animal. Among the homicides, some were random, some were the result of robberies, and others were the result of domestic violence. A spouse or partner was responsible almost 50 percent of the time when the victim of a workplace homicide was a woman.
Legal Options for Victims of Workplace Violence Have
If you are the victim of violence in your workplace, you may be entitled to benefits through the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. The workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system, meaning that you do not have to prove that your employer did anything wrong in order to be entitled to benefits. In some cases, a third party may be responsible for your injuries even though they occurred at work. If so, a third-party lawsuit may be your best legal option. In a third-party lawsuit you will need to prove that someone was negligent, or responsible, for your injuries in order to be entitled to compensation.
If you have been injured as a result of workplace violence in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., are available to review your situation and help you decide your next move. If you would like to know what legal options you have for a workplace violence injury, we can be reached by calling 800-367-0871 or by using our online contact form